The problem with suddenly becoming single is that it throws up a bunch of dating problems that I very much hoped I would never have to deal with. I appreciate that absolutely none of these are serious – they are all things I’ll happily overcome, about which my whining is intended to be no more than a brief and amusing distraction as you trip down whichever path your Wednesday happens to be taking. My current mantra, as life gets harder, is ‘I like doing difficult things.’ Doing difficult things is incredibly empowering, and having the freedom to do those things excites me. Nevertheless, as I start to explore the ways I will throw myself into the exciting hard stuff, I can’t help but bump up against dating problems that I genuinely do not want to tackle. Here is a brief (and likely non-exhaustive list) of things I can’t be arsed with.
Teach new men how to fuck me
Good sex is primarily about communication, and I am lazy as fuck. Yes, of course, if I shag someone new I will ask them questions in a sultry voice and encourage them to moan and grunt when I’m doing something right, and I’ll do my best to return the favour so they know how to compel me to make the deliciously involuntary noises.
But really? Honestly? Truly? I can’t be arsed. Give me men I’ve already fucked, who know the shape of my body and the weight of my baggage. Men who aren’t looking for someone who’ll impress them, but someone who’ll hang out with them and share a laugh over beers. Men for whom sex is a nice bonus to an evening, not a climax to which they look forward, raising their expectations so high that they will never be anything but disappointed. Casual sex, casually: that’s my fucking jam.
Have actual naked sex with – let’s face it – a stranger
My body is my body and I’m actually pretty pleased with it right now. That surprises me to realise, but I am. It’s powerful and strong and can cycle all the way across London if it has to. Its arms can heft furniture and its hands can make seriously cool things out of wood.
Unfortunately, the idea of actually stripping off my clothes and showing this body to a total stranger sends shivers of fear down my spine. So vulnerable! So bare! So entirely-not-what-I’m-used-to! Since I stopped fucking people other than my other half, I estimate I’ve only shown my fully naked body to five other human beings in total – all were in group-sex scenarios where he was there to cheer me on, and most of those people were already my actual mates.
I like my body right now, in fact I love it. But what if these strangers laugh at the shape of it? What if my tits aren’t fashionable these days? What if they mention my body hair and I have to immediately usher them towards the bin where they belong?
Deal with dating during Covid
I used to quite enjoy dating. Meeting someone new over beers after work, chatting shit and learning about them and working out if we would mesh? It was fun. I had a few terrible dates, sure, and a reasonably decent share of suitors-acting-like-spammers, but broadly I found dating to be a fun distraction from my otherwise tedious office-based life.
But now? Now? How do you date when anyone you meet might be carrying a disease that’ll kill the people you love? Zoom is too awkward, and parks don’t have loos, and how much can you really learn about someone over a single small can of M&S gin and tonic under a tree somewhere in Hackney? I guess I’ll have to dust off my one-drink-bailout rule, for toilet purposes if nothing else.
Dating problems that only apply to me: solving GOTN
I realise this falls under the category of ‘dating problems that are remarkably specific’ but it’s the biggest ethical conundrum. At what point do I tell the people I might fuck that I write a fairly popular blog about fucking? I obviously can’t put it in my profile: that’s where photos are. And I can’t exactly tell them in the first five minutes of a date:
Them: So what do you do?
Me: I write all the intimate details of my emotions and my wanking and my sex life on the internet, for clicks and money.
Me: Also I make audio porn!
King of all the dating problems for me: I cannot tell someone I’m GOTN before I’ve established a connection, and trust. And I cannot establish trust without lying by omission about my job. I would obviously want to tell someone before I drafted any blog posts about how lovely their dick was (#consent, innit), but by that point they’d have shown me their fucking dick and they might be understandably annoyed to discover that the woman they’d shown their dick to had been less than up-front about her job/hobby/raison d’etre.
My ex gave me many precious things, have I told you that? He was incredibly supportive, and one of the most precious gifts he gave me was the confidence and permission to do this weird thing that I do. When we first started dating, in the very early days, I explained to him that I’d always wanted to write, and laid out my plans for a blog where I could be gleefully fuck-hungry in public. He told me: go for it. When I spiralled into anxiety during my final ever day job, he urged me to focus on the blog: you can do this! Make a go of it! Be GOTN! He called it our ‘moon shot.’ Periodically I’d check in and ask him ‘are you sure? I know it’s A Lot’ and he’d kiss me and hold me and tell me it was OK, then let me run and fly and make this happen.
So what do I do now? I can’t date people who already know I’m GOTN (although obviously, inevitably, there are a few people I will definitely ask because I’d kick myself if I didn’t). But realistically, although hope and optimism springs eternal, I am not sure any of these will amount to anything other than wild disappointment for them. First, there’s the issue of how we navigate a date: I have built up so many walls around GOTN that the idea of dialling her in to a videochat in which people can see (and potentially screengrab) her actual face brings me out in cold sweats. Then there’s the fact that if you read this blog you know what a mess I am about my ex and how rebound-fucky our first shag would probably be. On top of that, you might expect miracles: replays of my greatest hits with fuckmachines and dildo orgies: pressure piled on pressure piled on panic.
Finally – importantly – you’ll learn I’m just a person. Not a sex kitten or a superhero or a powerful, badass bitch: just a normal person, wobbly and fucked-up, sweating in the heat of summer and desperate for men to like her.